equipment

druid equipment

I preferred 1e druids over 2e, when they were a distinct subclass like paladin, rather than shoved into a cleric with a nature focus.  Oddly, though, some of the characteristics that were carried over intact remained opaque and arbitrary.  One of these is the equipment restrictions. 1e simply states that they have “an inability to wear protective armor of metal” (1e PH, p. 21).  Their weapons, without any explanation, are limited to “club, dagger, dart, hammer, scimitar, sling, spear, staff”.  For 2e, they tried a little harder to justify these same restrictions by stating explicitly a druid can only use “natural” armors, with weapons still unexplained (2e PH, p. 35).

I don’t see how iron is any different in “naturalness” than leather.  The distinction they seem to want to make is “organic” or “biological”, so let’s treat that as the reason.  Either way, it still shines no light on why this would apply to armor, when weapons like scimitars still violate the rule.  This is another example of trying to retrofit a somewhat rational design scheme onto a hodge-podge of peremptory rules:  It is incomplete, inconsistent, and unsatisfactory.

terminology, history

The “long sword” in D&D is misnamed.  What it should properly be called is an arming sword, or broad sword.  Historical longswords were designed for 2-handed use, and are nearly synonymous with greatswords.

Splint mail shouldn’t even exist in a world with full plate.  It’s the equivalent of muskets alongside AR-15s.

Why is it so?  Remember the freedom of 1e that I praise?  Well, sometimes it works against itself.  In the 1e PH there’s several pages of equipment listings, costs, and statistics.  What was supposed to represent what might be available in a game setting was taken as what should always be available.  This is why there is no accounting for obsolete weapon and armor forms.  Sure, someone ignorant of the evolution of armaments wouldn’t notice, and there’s always the fallback of “it’s just a game, don’t care so much”.  But to me, it stands out like someone with so little knowledge of baseball, that he keeps the glove on while at bat.

Fortunately, BG is already very limited in its animations, so pruning the excess of items won’t be a problem visually.